Crime + Community

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We’ll Drink (and Eat) to This: Firehouse Becoming a Cultural Center

(Photos courtesy of)

(Photos courtesy of NTHCCC)

In the 1970s, the City of New York flirted with bankruptcy and the storefronts on Bedford Avenue stood empty. Now, those same storefronts are buzzing and a long-running campaign to establish a community center in a storied Northside building aims to honor the memory of those who made that rejuvenation possible—and continue their good work.

The Northside Town Hall and Community Center (NTHCCC) will, once it’s completed, function as a social, cultural and political hub for the Williamsburg-Greenpoint community. And, crucially, it will enact this role from Engine 212, a defunct firehouse on Wythe Avenue that played a central role in the neighborhood’s history.

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Chinatown Buses Face Regulation and Riled-Up Residents

Passengers wait for their ride (photo courtesy of "Save Our Streets")

Passengers wait for their ride (photo courtesy of Save LES Streets)

After a two-year grace period, the city is finally moving to enforce legislation that aims to regulate the thriving (and some would say infuriating) Chinatown bus industry, in the hopes of mitigating the “wild west” atmosphere that the throng of ludicrously cheap long-haul carriers have introduced to the affected downtown zones.
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Photos: New Yorkers Protest Police Killings in Union Square

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

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IMG_0455

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

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Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered in Union Square Park last night to observe a “National Moment of Silence” for Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager whose shooting death at the hands of a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri has sparked nationwide protests against racial profiling and police brutality.
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We’re Posting This From East River State Park, Now With Beefed-Up WiFi

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Between the WiFi that recently came to Rockaway and downtown’s new WiFi-equipped “beach,” we’re living in a golden age of surfing the web while, like, actually surfing. And now there’s this: in recent days, a vast swathe of Jones Beach — including the picnic tables and lounge seating at SmorgasBar — became WiFi equipped, thanks to a program that has also beefed up WiFi at East River State Park.
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Die Jim Crow Pop-up Exhibition

Anti-mass incarceration activist Fury Young and his team are planning a cross-country road-trip, in order to begin production on a concept album that will give formerly and currently incarcerated persons a voice. They’ll be stopping off at prisons to make recordings of musically-minded prisoners, and meeting formerly incarcerated correspondents to record with them as well. They’ll also be spreading awareness of America’s insanely over-saturated prison system along the way. To fund-raise for said trip, Fury’s holding a pop-up art show (including his work and that of several formerly and currently incarcerated persons) in one of New York’s most beautiful public gardens.

Buy Some Convict Art So This Guy Can Take a Jail Cell On a Musical Prison Tour

Fury Young with his "anti-prison art" (Photo courtesy of Fury Young)

Fury Young with his anti-prison art (Photo courtesy of Fury Young)

Fury Young is planning a road trip—but not just any old cross-country joyride. He’ll be traveling from New York to LA in a faux prison cell for starters, and the itinerary is unusual to say the least. “We’re going to go, basically, to the hood,” he says. “High incarceration rate neighborhoods. And prisons, as many prisons as we can get access to along the way.”
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Looking Back at the First Tompkins Riot Reunion, on the Eve of the 26th

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.49.21 AMIt’s going to be a throwback weekend off of Tompkins Square Park. Not only is Clayton Patterson holding court Friday at Pyramid Club, but on Saturday and Sunday, the annual concerts commemorating the Tompkins Square Park Riot — which he so famously documented — return to the park.

In addition to performances by hippie holdover David “The Pope Smokes Dope” Peel and the usual array of hardcore/punk bands with names like Nihilistics and Transgendered Jesus (no Porno Dracula this year?), parkgoers will be treated to a free installment of The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, courtesy of the East Village’s own Kembra Pfahler. 
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An Ambitious Look at the South Side, ‘Still Not the Neighborhood You Want to Think It Is’

Living Los Sures, a collaborative work-in-progress documentary project by UnionDocs, is a multifaceted portrait of Williamsburg’s South Side that has been four years in the making. The ambitious project—selections of which are now on display at Fordham University’s Idliko Butler gallery—was inspired by Los Sures, Diego Echeverria’s 1984 feature documentary about the then-blighted Hispanic neighborhood. “Remarkably,” wrote Eleanor Mannikka of the film, “some hope and ambition and drive are still present in spite of the crime and grime that settles over the neighborhood like dust.”
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The Latest Lamppost Lothario Has Gotten Over 400 Calls

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When we saw this latest “Looking for a Girlfriend” poster up around the East Village, we thought it might be one of our previous flyer boys. Probably not swinging-man Alex, but possibly lonely-hearted Luis. This assumption was based on similar, defensive wording: “I’m really looking for a girlfriend. This is not a joke. Just tired of the singles scene and hoping to meet the right person…Open to the possibility of the relationship morphing into something more profound.”
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